IMG_0778(Students and teacher celebrating the opening of the school)


Maxima is 30 years old, has three children and lives in a remote village in Peru in the province of San Martin de Pangoa. She never knew her father and as she grew up; she never had a chance to study as there simply weren’t any schools near her village. She has always felt that an important part of her life was missing … the opportunity to get an education.

Maxima met her husband Jose at the age of 14 and together they started a family. It broke Maxima’s heart to know that like her; her children would not be able to gain an education and so she persuaded Jose to move the family to Chuquibambilla, a village that at least had a temporary structure where teachers would occasionally turn up to teach children. Maxima’s dream was a simple one, she wanted her children to learn how to read and write.

Today in Chuquibambilla the village now boasts a Nursery School, a recently extended Primary School and thanks to the work of the Costa Foundation, it now has a brand new High School.



Maxima’s husband Jose has worked his entire life in the fields growing coffee and Yucca. When the Costa Foundation school construction started in 2013, Jose volunteered to help with the labour as he (like Maxima) was keen to see his children learning in a decent school. Jose helped so much and gave so much personal commitment that Javier; the builder in charge of the construction has offered him paid work on building sites.

Nowadays Maxima and Jose spend the school term time in Chuquibambilla tending to the crops in the fields and enabling their children to study and when the children are on school vacation; Jose works with Javier in the city to earn money for the children’s future.

Maxima José and their family(Jose with his family)


Selene is Maxima and Jose’s youngest daughter aged only 5; yet she already speaks three languages, Spanish, Quechua and Nomatchiguenga, the latter two being native languages of Peru. Speaking these local languages keeps the traditions of the indigenous Indian tribe in which she lives alive; whilst at the same time Selene learns new skills and gains new knowledge at school.

If a little girl like Selene can already speak 3 languages; it’s entirely possible that given the right education she could learn many other languages and become a language professional or teacher should she wish to. Thankfully this vision has been made more realistic with the construction of Chuquibambilla High School.

Selene’s teachers always say that she is a very smart and talented girl and they are hopeful that she will gain excellent results in her exams and ultimately pursue the career of her dreams whatever it may be.

 Selene and her brother(Selene and her brother)


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